We have all heard phrases of encouragement!! Maybe it was said to us, or we have said it to a friend on the sports field, at a gala event, to a work colleague or even to our children? Give your best effort, do it with all your might, give it 100%, put your heart and soul into it!! To give our best effort requires us to be deliberate in our actions. Purposeful. In fact, it means we need to be intentional at that very moment.
What is it that makes us WANT to be intentional at that moment? The proposal is worth $1million – so I will spend extra time on it. The Gala Dinner has very influential executives attending – so I will place a little extra effort into my dress and grooming. The family are coming over to stay for the weekend – so I will clean the garage, tidy the coat closet and make sure the garden is manicured. Why do we choose to put our best self forward just on occasions? Why not put our best self forward ALL THE TIME? William James Durant is quoted as saying that we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle is quoted as something very similar – We are what we repeatedly do. Success in not an action but a habit.
Durant and Aristotle are saying that Success and Excellence is a habit. I recently attended a service where Pastor Leonard Stone said excellence originates in the mind, translates to speech and is demonstrated in our actions!! If we put these three together then it would make sense that to be Successful and live an Excellent life requires action. Action fueled by enthusiasm. Enthusiasm in the words of Dale Carnegie is life’s little secret of success. Intentional Action (enthusiasm) applied daily to tasks will ensure that we are putting our best effort in what we are doing at that moment. Basically, we are setting ourselves up for success. It is easy to be enthusiastic about a proposal worth $1million, but how much effort goes into the proposal for $10,000? It is easy to be enthusiastic about doing something we enjoy – sport, hobbies, getting dressed for date night at the 5-star Michelin Restaurant. What about being enthusiastic about things we don’t enjoy? Organizing the garage, cleaning the garden and making space in the coat closet, cleaning the BBQ Grill?
If we look at the tough, strenuous year that is 2020 – I am sure that many of us are looking for reasons not to do something. I don’t feel like going to the shops now, I have to get my mask, then it’s the effort of hand sanitizer aarrrgghhh, it’s such a schlep. Instead we should be looking for reasons to do something. Let’s quickly go to the shop again, I will grab my mask and hand sanitizer and I will be back in no time at all. The difference between those two statements is how we chose to phrase the thought, then translate it into speech and then we take the decided action. With negative thought the result was effort, and lack of desire. With positive thought and enthusiastic speech the end result is positive. This leads to success and a life of excellence. If we hold ourselves to a higher standard the end result will be a feeling of success. It gives a sense of achievement which leads to self-motivation and has us being self-directed.
Simple examples of translating thoughts into a positive enthusiastic statement:
|Negative Mindset – feels like effort||Growth Mindset – adding enthusiasm|
|Do I have to tidy the room now?||Sure, I will do it straight away thanks!|
|You always ask me to do that, you never ask…||Happy to do it no problem at all|
|Your family are so critical of us I better sort out the house…||Can’t wait for the family see how nicely our home has come along since the last time they visited|
|Those office functions are so boring I don’t really want to go.||It is going to be great to network and get to know my colleagues better|
|These low value proposals are such a waste of time||Let’s show them how much we value the little work we get, then they will trust us with the large volume of work too|
|I don’t want to go out because at the restaurant we will never know who has covid or not, it was difficult enough to meet new people and now I can’t ever understand what they are saying through the masks they are wearing.||I will continue to take every precaution and sanitize my hands with spray and wear my mask diligently. It will be wonderful to get out and visit in a socially responsible way.|
Putting a little enthusiasm into our daily activities will help prevent fatigue and keep our energy and spirits high. We need to be deliberate here, especially during these covid times. Being socially responsible is also better when done with enthusiasm.
Putting enthusiasm into everything we do takes effort; we need to be deliberate in our daily actions. Being intentional will create a lifestyle where our best effort is added to everything we do. Imagine we take clothes out the cupboard and leave it in a neater condition than what we found it in. Or even better, we file our tax receipts and every time we add a document, we leave the file in a better condition than what we found it in. Could you just imagine even more how much of an impact we could have on those immediately around us when we do a task we are asked with statements like sure thing, happy to do that, my pleasure to get done for you. We leave people feeling a little better because of the extra enthusiasm we added to our task.
Do the best you can by putting enthusiasm into all the daily tasks you need to accomplish. This behavior will make you stand out and people will notice you for the right reasons.